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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Jeff Bezos Reveals That Amazon Has Over 100 Million Prime Subscribers (theverge.com) 124

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed today that the company has over 100 million Prime members, "marking the first time in the 13-year history of Amazon offering its Prime membership that the company has ever revealed its number of subscribers," reports The Verge. From the report: According to Bezos, Amazon Prime also saw its best year ever in 2017, with the company shipping over five billion products with Prime and signing up more new members than in any previous year. Also revealed today, Whole Foods Market will discontinue its rewards program on May 2 and fold it into Amazon Prime. "Stay tuned for additional announcements for Amazon Prime members," reads the Whole Foods FAQ page focused on digital coupons, rewards and online accounts. "Any account benefits, including membership and/or unused rewards, will not roll into any future programs."
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Jeff Bezos Reveals That Amazon Has Over 100 Million Prime Subscribers

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  • My wife got the free trial prime, earlier this year by not paying attention (they really push it now it's available in Luxembourg). Not a big deal, just cancel it after the trial is over. However, it turned out she forgot to renew our Netflix subscription and I explained her that Prime Video is included in the Prime subscription. Give it is significantly cheaper: Netflix is 12x10.99EUR=131,88EUR/year, vs Prime 49.90EUR/year and prime offers a lot more.

    So, we decided to continue it... She has next day delivery and still has video on demand (albeit, not Netflix). She's happy.

    What I didn't like is that your normally should be able to share some of the Prime membership advantages with other people in the household. I thought: sweet! I can get next-day delivery too now on my account. Yeah, well, turns out, that sharing feature isn't available in Luxembourg. Yes, I contacted support about it. They confirmed it's not available in my region. Sad.

    Oh, well, usually when I order stuff, I can wait... There is no way, I pay for a second prime membership though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why not just use her account to place your orders.

      If they call you out on it, "Yeah, my wife ordered me socket set as a gift. You got a problem with that?"
      (Note: If you mark everything for you as a gift, then it shouldn't affect her product recommendations.)

      • I like the idea of keeping accounts separate. I realise you can work arounds, but I just would have liked it to work without messing around. It's already bad enough that my wife mixes up her credit cards from her personal account and our joint account all the time.
        • I suggest something else if keeping accounts separate is a must:

          - whenever you want to use the benefits of her Prime account, just create a new whishlist, share it with her, and let her buy it on her account providing her a payment form. If you don't share or want to supply your personal payment data to her, I don't really know about Luxembourg but in Portugal we have many types of virtual credit card systems, that you create for any purchase and add a limit to it, so that you don't have to share or put you

          • Indeed, Prime doesn't have multiple accounts profiles: It's slightly annoying. It does have allow up to three devices to stream simultaneously. That's not all that bad, really.

            As for the content: Netflix was pretty crappy too (for Luxembourg). When we still had it, I bothered to make a list of stuff I wanted to see. One day, I actually wanted to see one of the movies on that list... and it wasn't there any more. It was Guardians of the Galaxy, and I am 100% I had it at a certain point and when I wante

            • Don't quote me on this, but this issue came up while talking to a Netflix customer support assistant (I had an issue with someone registering an email similar to mine with an ignored character "." and I started getting his emails). In the course of the conversation, this CS representative told me he himself splits his (paid) account with 3 friends who do not share a household. He surely does not have any special benefit or authorization for being their employer, I believe. So there's that.

              Obviously, Netflix

            • You can have multiple credit cards on one account.

              Maybe just put your credit card on that account too, and they you all just be careful which card each one charges to...her to hers, you to yours.

              • She has that. She just is sloppy and ends up charging her personal card all the time. I tell her to be careful. I presume this is because the shopping experience on a cellphone isn't as clear as on a computer. She rarely to never uses her computer for amazon. I have a bit of trouble understanding why she does that. Convenience, I suppose.

                Anyway, about every 6 months, I just go over her purchases and reimburse her what should have been bought on the common account.

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            - whenever you want to use the benefits of her Prime account, just create a new whishlist, share it with her, and let her buy it on her account providing her a payment form. If you don't share or want to supply your personal payment data to her, I don't really know about Luxembourg but in Portugal we have many types of virtual credit card systems, that you create for any purchase and add a limit to it, so that you don't have to share or put your physical card on the web (I never even have placed my physical

        • Separate Amazon accounts...separate credit cards accounts.....separate bank accounts....do you have sex with separate people too?

          • LOL. Well, no... Not that I'm aware of at least.

            My father has a masters in applied economics, and he taught us (and my siblings) how to do accounting correctly and all under the motto "Les bons comptes font les bons amis". I am not aware of a English equivalent of the saying, but it means as much that if you keep money affairs honest, friends will stay friends. If you are married, or in a partnership having your own account, her/his/xir own account and a common account is immensely useful. This stops financial disagreements: I want something, and she doesn't agree (new computer, new camera, ...), I pay it with my money. The same for her. The common account is for everything that concerns us both and the kid: mortgage, food, healthcare, etc. We both have access to the common account: if I do weird stuff on it, she can see it and ask for explanations. I can do the same.

            We also have separate computer accounts, separate facebooks, but nobody finds that strange, right?

            Having your finances sorted out helps to stabilize marriages. It's the singlemost important advice I would give to newlyweds.

            • by registrations_suck ( 1075251 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @08:40AM (#56463433)

              Having your finances sorted out helps to stabilize marriages. It's the singlemost important advice I would give to newlyweds.

              I completely agree.

              I'm just not much on the "mine, yours, ours" model. I'm a lot more interested in the "we're in this together" model.

              But whatever works for you (:

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *
                Perhaps it helps understand that her parents had a very very very ugly divorce when she was a teenager. The tensions are there to this day, and it's been something like a quarter of a century ago or so. I don't know if this is common with kids from divorcees, but she seems to think this has to happen eventually to her too. Having it set up this way, soothes my inner accountant and should her fear ever come through, we will have it "easier" to get it through peacefully.

                Obviously, I don't plan on divorce,

                • I know many people think of marriage as a romantic involvement. That is wrong. It is primarily a contractual obligation, and the romantic aspect is a nice bonus. Perhaps I'm just weird. Perhaps I am a heartless cold calculating arsehole... If so, then I have no problem with that. You have the right to judge me.

                  Ironically - I completely agree with you, once again. I just have a different response.

                  In my calculation, if I can't trust someone in matters of finances, and take a joint approach to managing finances, I don't want to try making a life with that person.

                  • I think you misunderstand: Having a common account requires trust. We have a common account, we trust each other. The common account just has a very specific purpose. In all the years we have been married, there never has been a problem. Still, that doesn't mean we can't have separate accounts for personal purchases.
                    • Having a common account requires trust.

                      Sure it does. But less trust than having all the money in it (:

                      I don't find fault with your approach. I'm just saying, it's not for me and I'd never sign up for it.

                      If my wife came home one day and said, "Hey, I'm going to open a checking account in my name only and have my pay direct deposited to it, and then contribute some portion of that to our joint account for our joint bills and spend the rest however I want", I'd probably just say "see ya" and move out. If I came home and gave that speech, I'd hope

                    • If my wife came home one day and said, "Hey, I'm going to open a checking account in my name only and have my pay direct deposited to it, and then contribute some portion of that to our joint account for our joint bills and spend the rest however I want"

                      There is a significant difference between changing a in-place system, and having a different system from the get-go. Of course, the above scenario would raise red flags, because it changes the well working status quo.

                      That said, the inverse would also

            • by houghi ( 78078 )

              This should be a standard and has nothing to do with distrusting each other. My sister and her husband are divorced now. They still are friends. Becaus ethey had separate accounts, the breakup was even less painfull.
              OTOH I often see people, especially elder people who only have one account on both of their names. One person dies and the account will be blocked for 2 to 3 months. This till the heritage is done. In that time grandma can not pay anything. Money comes in, but nothing can go out. Companies start

            • Just remember if the wife isn't happy then no one is happy.... so keep her happy and everything should be just fine.

              • Wise words ;-)
                • My fiancée of 18 years and I aren't married and keep our finances separate mostly because she had a lot of medical debt when we first got together but then just never changed anything after she paid it off.

              • Just remember if the wife isn't happy then no one is happy.... so keep her happy and everything should be just fine.

                That's why, unless you are planning to have kids, there's no real reason to get married.

                Too much risk of losing half your shit.

                If not married, then of course you work to keep each other happy, but if things go bad...unfixable, then well, you can more easily ditch her and find someone new that is more accommodating to your lifestyle and aspirations.

      • Why not just use her account to place your orders

        That is what I do. Four people in my family, and we all share one Prime account and password. I don't know if we are breaking any rules.

        If you mark everything for you as a gift, then it shouldn't affect her product recommendations.

        Another solution is to just ignore the recommendations, which are usually stupid anyway. If I just ordered a new coffee maker, I don't need recommendations for six other coffee makers.

        My wife is Chinese and we watch a lot of Chinese movies. So we get flooded with recommendations for French movies, because "obviously" we like "foreign films".

      • Hell, I've always done exactly this... yoga pants, diapers and power tools are my thing, and Amazon has never called me out on it... they're not looking that closely.

  • but ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ThirdPrize ( 938147 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @06:25AM (#56463017) Homepage

    But only 2 million asked for it.

  • Not me not ever. I stay away from Amazon as much as possible because I keep reading how they treat their employees like shit.
    • Fortunately we have 0.01% people who not only think like you but also act like you by boycotting Amazon. Bezos does care about that.
    • Moral high ground? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @07:42AM (#56463217)

      Not me not ever. I stay away from Amazon as much as possible because I keep reading how they treat their employees like shit.

      Do you avoid buying clothing from overseas sweatshops? Do you only buy produce picked by well paid white people? How consistent are you really about your claims to the moral high ground?

      I'm always puzzled about claims like this which seem more like self aggrandizement rather than a genuine moral stance. If you want to bash Amazon go ahead (plenty to critique) but don't pretend you really are so ethically superior or that you really care about worker conditions.

      • by nagora ( 177841 )

        So your excuse for ignoring these human rights abuses is to say that everyone's doing it? Nice clean hands you have there.

        "I'm always puzzled about claims like this which seem more like self aggrandizement rather than a genuine moral stance."

        Whereas your public proclamation of your own moral superiority is motivated from a desire to be a role model to the youth of the world?

        • Perspective (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @09:12AM (#56463583)

          So your excuse for ignoring these human rights abuses is to say that everyone's doing it? Nice clean hands you have there.

          Never claimed to have clean hands. What I do have is perspective. I'm annoyed by people that pretend to have clean hands with a bogus boycott when their real purpose has nothing to do with worker rights. I'm annoyed by people like you who act all self righteous and try to drag down others despite their own hypocrisy. Or are you going to pretend you are somehow really doing something meaningful about the problem?

          And frankly if you think Amazon is really engaged in "human rights abuses" then you really don't know what the term means. Modestly tougher than average working conditions at a place with 100% voluntary employment isn't exactly what I consider abusive. I've visited literal sweat shops in third world countries so I know what the word means first hand.

          Whereas your public proclamation of your own moral superiority is motivated from a desire to be a role model to the youth of the world?

          Nice strawman. Exactly where did I claim to be a moral paragon? As opposed to you who are trying to drag me down to make yourself look good.

          • by nagora ( 177841 )

            "Or are you going to pretend you are somehow really doing something meaningful about the problem?"

            In a capitalist consumer market there is nothing more meaningful than a boycott.

            "Exactly where did I claim to be a moral paragon?"

            Your post is predicated on moral superiority toward someone you accuse, on no real evidence, to be engaging in "self aggrandizement rather than a genuine moral stance".

            "As opposed to you who are trying to drag me down to make yourself look good"

            I don't need to try to drag people like

            • by stdarg ( 456557 )

              In a capitalist consumer market there is nothing more meaningful than a boycott.

              Stock ownership?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sorry to break it to you mate, but some people really do have ethical standards that aren't just for show.

        If I buy a shirt at Retailer A, I don't really know if it was made in a sweatshop or not. But if I know for a fact that Retailer B uses sweatshops, then my refusal to buy things from B is the correct ethical choice based on the information I have available to me. If I subsequently learn that A also uses sweatshops I should change my position and use C, D or E instead.

        You don't have to spend your days ag

      • Do you avoid buying clothing from overseas sweatshops? Do you only buy produce picked by well paid white people? How consistent are you really about your claims to the moral high ground?

        Consistency (of this type) is overrated. By your logic, you can never give a dollar to charity, because later he's going to choose to eat a lobster instead of donating everything and living in a shack.

        To recognize that X is bad, and I'm not going to do it, while doing related Y and Z is superior to doing X,Y and Z.

      • Do you avoid buying clothing from overseas sweatshops? Do you only buy produce picked by well paid white people? How consistent are you really about your claims to the moral high ground?

        Yesterday I was walking into the grocery store and noticed a bunch of plastic lawn chairs with stickers on them proudly proclaiming they were made in the USA.

        My first cynical reaction was that they may have been molded here, but where did the plastic resin come from? And then I told myself not to be stupid because we have oil refineries here too.

        But should we really strive to make plastic lawn chairs? Manufacturing plastic lawn chairs is certainly an honest living and I'm sure the people who do it work ha

    • While I agree with you, Amazon's competitors treat their employees like shit too. So, given that, I buy from Amazon anyway.
  • Intertia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @07:11AM (#56463125) Homepage
    I'm one of them, but mostly through inertia. On the whole it's getting worse, with next day slipping to two days, 'guaranteed next day' being delivered two days later, and items on sale with free Prime delivery, but mysteriously more expensive than the non-Prime version alone and magically equal to non-Prime + delivery fee.

    It's kinda ok, and I enjoyed The Tick, but on the whole...meh.
    • Back in the good old pre-Prime days, Amazon delivered within 2-3 days. Standard. Then Prime came along and suddenly delivery took longer and longer, reaching ridiculous timeframes like "11-15 days" but averaging around 6-9 days. Unless you pay about as much as a prime subscription for the once-normal 2-3 days. Of course you could also sign up for Prime and get the 2-3 days again for "free"...

      • Back in the good old pre-Prime days, Amazon delivered within 2-3 days. Standard.

        And you generally paid a handsome freight charge for it. Yes they are encouraging you to use Prime and prior to Prime I didn't use Amazon much. If you don't like it there are other places to shop and that's totally fine. I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape over something that is 100% optional. If it's valuable to you get a Prime membership. If it is not valuable to you, that's fine too. I don't shop much at Walmart because they don't offer me a value proposition that works for me fo

        • No, I'm dead serious. Until about 3 years ago, I'd get my stuff from Amazon within 2-3 days as standard delivery, free of charge. You could actually ask for overnight for a premium, but 2-3 days was the standard delivery period for Amazon around here.

          Since Prime came along, 2-3 days is the premium ("free" if you have Prime) while standard delivery is between 6 and 15 days.

          • No, I'm dead serious. Until about 3 years ago, I'd get my stuff from Amazon within 2-3 days as standard delivery, free of charge.

            Interesting. I wonder if you must have been located close to one of their distribution hubs because I certainly did not have that experience. Free shipping for me without Prime even back in the day took the better part of a week most of the time. Still fine for most items (I'm not usually in a hurry) but not as fast as with Prime. I could pay for faster delivery but it wasn't free or cheap.

            • Europe. Our postal services work a bit differently. Also, there's insane competition (think of it this way: You have like 20 national postal services that may be no longer national but now, in an open market, all want to grow into the markets of the other 20 postal services, with some independent companies like EMS or UPS thrown in for fun and profit).

  • vs Netflix interface (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @07:24AM (#56463163)
    Prime is cheaper and has other features, but comparing P and N for video interfaces, subtitles, dubbing, search... Netflix is way better.
  • Sure, when you're offering it in countries like India for INR 999... which is the equivalent of about $15/yr. There are plenty of people there that can afford that (and yes, plenty who can't, but at over 1.3 bln people it only takes less than 10% of them to reach 100m) so of course your subscription numbers are going to inflate like crazy.
  • How many of these people became prime members accidentally after clicking on "yes, ship with item for free with amazon prime two day shipping" without reading the fine print that they need to pay a hundred bucks for yearly membership?

  • I used to order a lot from Amazon. Their prices were nearly always the lowest, and at the time I didn't have to pay tax. Now since there's a distribution center here so it's taxable, they're not always the cheapest, and some of their business practices irritate me. I still order from them but first try finding it somewhere else at a competitive price. And will never pay for Prime.
    • I used to order a lot from Amazon. Their prices were nearly always the lowest, and at the time I didn't have to pay tax.

      Amazon has always had good prices but they never were the lowest if you were willing to do the work of hunting around. The value is that they have (generally) good prices and awesomely broad selection and reliable two day delivery with Prime. Amazon is just hugely convenient compared to most of the alternatives which is why they've been such a success. As for tax you'll just have to get over that. Sales tax is coming to internet sales in one form or another and that won't be just through Amazon.

      some of their business practices irritate me.

      Is there

      • For me I just want a reasonable price and minimal hassle....I think you need to order something like 50+ deliveries per year to really make it worthwhile.

        I strung those parts of your comment together because I think that solely pricing out Prime based on the shipping cost savings seriously underestimates how much it's worth, a point you seem to agree with.

        Time is money. Every time I two-day ship something with prime, that's an hour or two I didn't spend playing scavenger hunt at the local stores. While I want to support them, there's a limit to how much time in my life I want to spend in retail stores. As I get older, it's much less time than when I was youn

  • That is ten billion dollars from prime alone.
  • by registrations_suck ( 1075251 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @08:22AM (#56463347)

    Amazon bashing...meh...OK.

    In the meantime...I buy from Amazon more often than not, NOT because they have the lowest price, but simply for the convenience. Into "convenience", I factor in:

    1). Timely shipments.
    2). One-stop shopping.
    3). "Known factor".
    4). Payments and Addresses.
    5). Record of purchases.

    Amazon can get stuff delivered to me in a timely fashion. Two days "free". In the meantime, I ordered something from E-Trailer that is "in stock" on Monday and it is currently scheduled to arrive on Saturday. I leave on my trip on Friday. Had Amazon had it, I would have bought it from them, even if it cost more.

    2). Where else can I get Dr. Pepper Stubbs BBQ sauce, a Bluetooth headphones receiver unit and a box of small Trojan condoms all in one shipment? I mean, that's awesome!

    3). I know what I'm going to get when I order from Amazon. I know they will ship, I know the return policy and that I will not have issues, I know the order system, etc. I don't have to guess how I will be treated, like I do when I order from somewhere new.

    4). They have my payment info. They have my shipping addresses. They have my billing address. I don't have to enter any of that shit again, like I do when ordering from somewhere new. That makes things fast and easy. I can decode I want to order something, to find it on their site and complete my purchase in 60 seconds, in some cases. 2-3 minutes tops in others. Yeah, I will pay extra for that.

    5). I like having my order history in one place. If I wonder, "when did I buy this" or "how much did I pay for this", it is very easy to come up with this information, quickly. If I order from somewhere else, the first thing I have to figure out is "where did I order this from?" Then I go to their site and have to figure out what my login info is. Then if I get logged in, maybe I can find my info, maybe not, depending on how long ago it was. In the meantime - just the other day I was wondering about my headphones and I went on Amazon and quickly determined I got them in 2012 for $500. That made me feel a lot better about ordering a set of replacement earpads for $15 or so.

    So yeah, overall, maybe Amazon doesn't always have the best price. But if Amazon is only a little more than the next guy, I will order from them. If it is an item I can get for $10 at some random place, no, I'm not going to pay $20 at Amazon. But if it is an item I can get for $500 at some random place, then, yeah, sure, I'll pay $510 or maybe $515 from Amazon. If for no other reason than I know I will not have issues returning the item without hassle, if that's what I need to do.

    • I think prime is great value when you consider what you get for £79 per year: - Prime delivery: Okay I can mostly wait 2 - 3 days for shipping, but it is nice to get things next-day at no extra cost. I easily cover the full fee on prime delivery alone. - Prime movies/TV: I don't watch much telly full-stop but a lot of prime content is enough for me not to bother subscribing to Netflix etc. I basically consider this as free content since I get my Prime "value" from the delivery side already.
  • Thats coz the bastards wont let you cancel immediately now, they keep your membership active till the end of the one year and charge you for that period.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thats coz the bastards wont let you cancel immediately now, they keep your membership active till the end of the one year and charge you for that period.

      Who cares if they keep it active to the end of the period. You can still just go in right away, say you want to cancel, they tell you it will be cancelled at the end of the trial, and then when the trial is up you don't get charged for membership and shipping is just no longer free. I don't see the problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I read this story title and went SHIT! I forgot to cancel that prime trial!

    I will give kudos to Amazon for making my few days late cancellation easy, and the refund of the money they took automatic. Well, automatic in theory, I've still got to verify it. I was expecting to have to berate some Indian customer service rep, so it was a pleasant surprise.

  • I no longer shop Amazon. Got tired of being messed with and moved on. Would rather deal with eBay or even Walmart which provides the same two day shipping deal for free without no stinking membership fees for general "online" shopping.

    Reasons I stopped using Amazon:

    Ordering something in stock more often than not results in sitting on orders for a week before deciding to ship.

    Not allowing purchase of random items (Including a frigging Starwars DVD) unless I joined their little prime club.

    Not allowing purc

  • That is about 1 in 16 households world-wide. Wow. It is also 50% greater than the number of people that voted for the US president in 2016 and are now likely cranked that he is messing with our free shipping. Good thing for him that most are outside of the US and therefore do not get a say in the matter.

    The letter also points out that 5+ Billion items were shipped via prime last year. That is a stack approximating the distance to the moon (with very sloppy math). It is also about 50 items per prime acc

  • I rarely use Amazon to use its subscription. In fact, I hate subscriptions.

  • Having 10^8 subscribers sounds impressive. If you don't look at the rest of the numbers.

    What is the number of people in the markets that Amazon "does" prime in? USA is 3*10^8 ; Europe 7.4*10^8 ; someone mentioned India has Prime service, so that's 13*10^8. I don't know if it's available in Russia - I'll ask Tebya Valentina next time we call her - or in China. But so far that's 1.0*10^8 subscribers out of a population of 23.4*10^8 potential customers. A bit less than 5%.

    Sounds a bit less impressive like th

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